Today we're going to hear from Marge of Born Too Late Vintage.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.I started Born Too Late Vintage as a way to be able to stay home with my daughters and be available to them more than if I worked outside of the home. Little by little my business has turned into a family run studio with my daughters working behind the scenes styling items, photographing, writing copy and even modeling on occasion. My husband has also done some modeling on occasion, although that usually results in more out takes than useable pictures. After all these years he still makes me laugh.
2. What first sparked your interest in vintage items? did something in particular cause your interest in them?
I've always had a love of fashion even when I was a tomboy. I really think what sparked my interest was looking at my family pictures and seeing the intricate dress of my mom and my aunts from the photographs in the 1960s. So of course that's my favorite period of fashion and I think that comes across when you look in my studio. I also love shoes and hats. Being a plus size woman, it’s much easier to find shoes and hats that fit and of course I plunder my own studio for vintage patterns so I can custom construct my vintage dresses.
3. How long have you been selling vintage?
I've been selling vintage 12 years, but I've been buying it personally since the age of 16, so all total 36 years.
4. Do you have a particular time period, style, or type of item that you prefer to focus on?
I really love the period of the late 50s into the mid 1970s.
5. Do you have any advice for people interested in collecting vintage items?
They should always remember the measurements provided on vintage clothing are the clothing measurements, not their body measurements. Always allow 2-3 inches leeway for the item to fit you correctly. Women wore foundation garments with these items and that makes a huge difference in whether an item is going to fit you correctly or not. Make sure your measurements are accurate, or better yet, have someone else take them for you. You'll see in my store I rarely label items S, M, L or XL unless the manufacturer has that on the label. I truly believe that accurate measurements are much more helpful in order to get the best fit.
Buying vintage is an education in itself. You'll learn much more from your mistakes than from your best finds. There are many books available such as the Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute which covers fashion history from the 18th century to the 20th century. Another source is the http://wishbookweb.com/ This is a site which features Christmas Wish catalogs that have been scanned. I can get lost in there for hours looking at the fashions and home goods from bygone eras. I also collect vintage catalogs. There are also books on hats such as Vintage Hats and Bonnets that covers hats from the 1770s to the 1970s. You can also learn a lot by checking out manufacturer's websites. Many of them contain histories of the companies and there are all sorts of great information available.
Things I look for when searching for vintage clothing include the type of fabric, whether a garment has side, back or front zippers, if the seams are pinked, if an item is home sewn or carries a maker's label, and any other number of clues as to how old an item is. Condition is always my main concern. I'm very particular and if I won't wear it then I don't purchase it. The best part about being a vintage clothing seller is not being limited by the size of an item. I'm not just buying for one size. I buy for everyone.
6. What's your favorite item for sale in your store right now?
Right now my very favorite item is this vintage 1950s Sun Dress and matching sweater:
|Vintage 1950s Sun Dress & Matching Sweater|
I love red and the pony fur just makes it that much more fun.